Sideswipe Accident Attorneys in DFW, Abilene, and Amarillo
The state of Texas is no stranger to car accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, on average:
- There is one person killed every two hours and 25 minutes from a car accident.
- At least one person is injured every two minutes and three seconds due to a car accident.
- A reportable crash occurs every 56 seconds.
While rear-end accidents occur more frequently, sideswipe accidents are also common occurrences on Texas roadways.
What Is a Sideswipe Accident?
A sideswipe accident describes an incident in which two vehicles driving in the same direction make contact. This often happens when lanes merge, such as on the on-ramp to an interstate, or when someone attempts to change lanes.
What Causes a Sideswipe Car Accident?
Sideswipe accidents typically occur when one driver attempts to change lanes unsafely, resulting in them hitting another vehicle. The following often causes sideswipe accidents:
- Failure to check blind spots before attempting a lane change or merge
- Drifting out of the lane due to inattentive driving
- Hydroplaning on wet or icy roadways
- Road rage
- Drowsy driving
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Taking on curves in the road too quickly, resulting in oversteering into the next lane
What Kind of Injuries Can Occur In a Sideswipe Crash?
Sideswipe car accidents can cause minor or serious injuries depending on the conditions leading up to the accident. For example, someone trying to change lanes in busy traffic may accidentally sideswipe the car next to them. Since the traffic kept their speeds low, neither driver may experience an injury and only receive car vehicle damage.
However, on interstates where cars drive over 60 miles per hour, sideswipe accidents can lead to more serious damage to vehicles and the passengers in them. For example, Driver A tries to get around a large tractor-trailer and merges into the left lane without looking. They sideswipe Driver B next to them, sending both vehicles off the road and into the guardrail. Driver B is sandwiched between the guardrail and Driver A, leading to damage on both the driver and passenger side of the car. This leads to Driver B sustaining internal injuries and a broken arm.
Common injuries from a sideswipe car accident include:
- Spinal cord injuries
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
What Makes Sideswipe Accidents Particularly Dangerous?
Most vehicles today are built to withstand and protect drivers from the more common rear-end and head-on collisions. But the sides of vehicles often lack the padding to absorb the force of a crash. Depending on the accident’s severity, sideswipes can easily turn from minor to severe. The force of the impact can drive twisted metal into the legs of the passengers, send shockwaves through them, and cause any passengers and the driver to become trapped.
While some higher-end vehicles, such as vans and SUVs make side protection airbags to protect passengers, especially children, these safety measures are not standard on every vehicle.
What Should I Do After a Sideswipe Accident?
Regardless of whether your accident was minor or severe, you will want to do the following:
- Make sure everyone involved in the accident is okay: Check your passengers, yourself, and individuals in the other vehicle to make sure they are alright. If there are serious injuries that need medical attention, contact local authorities and emergency services right away.
- Contact the police: Even if the cars involved only sustained minor damage, you need a police report to record the accident for your insurance company and to file a personal injury claim.
- Get the contact information of the other driver involved: Write down their name, phone number, address, insurance information, and license plate number.
- Get the contact information of any witnesses: You will want their names, numbers, and addresses. When you seek compensation, this will help your lawyer and the court see the full picture of what happened during the accident.
- Document the scene of the accident: Take pictures of the damage to your car, the area where the accident occurred if it’s safe to do so, and the damage to the other vehicle or nearby objects such as a guardrail.
- Seek medical attention: Even if you do not think you sustained any injuries during the accident, get checked out by a healthcare professional. Sometimes, adrenaline can mask the pain of underlying issues, such as a back or head injury. Failure to do this can prevent you from getting proper medical care and impact your ability to get the compensation you deserve.
- Contact a car accident attorney: Insurance companies may try to dispute your compensation claim or deny giving you full coverage because the accident was seen as minor. A personal injury attorney can help prevent this from happening. Never speak to an insurance company until you have spoken to a trusted attorney.
How Is Fault Determined in a Sideswipe Accident?
Determining fault is vital to any personal injury lawsuit. Regarding sideswipe accidents, it has to be proven that the at-fault driver was negligent in their attempt to either change lanes or properly stay in their lane, resulting in the accident and your injuries.
This negligence can be shown through the inattention of the other driver, their failure to use a proper turn signal, or the fact that they didn’t look to see if it was safe to change lanes.
What Damages Can I Recover From a Sideswipe Car Accident?
If the other driver is found to be negligent in the accident that caused your injuries, you may be able to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Lost future wages if the injuries were permanent
- Pain and suffering
- Damages to personal property, such as your vehicle or anything that may have been inside
Start on the Road to Recovery
If you were injured in a sideswipe car accident caused by the negligence of another driver, you need to contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at Hernandez Law Group, P.C. Trying to deal with the insurance companies on your own can result in you receiving less compensation than you deserve or them bullying you into admitting fault. The dedicated team at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. can help defend your right to compensation while you focus on recovering from your accident. Contact our team today for more information on our services or to schedule a free no-obligation consultation.